NSW lamb prices sped ahead of rates in Victoria in the 12 months up to January this year, but southern saleyard price levels have taken off in the last three months, according to Meat and Livestock Australia.
Back in January 2014, trade weight lambs at saleyards covered by the National Livestock Reporting Service in NSW averaged 402¢/kg cwt, which was similar to the equivalent category in Victoria, averaging 400¢/kg cwt – a margin of only 2¢/kg cwt.
Fast forward one year, to January 2015, and NSW trade lambs were 138¢/kg cwt dearer, averaging 541¢/kg cwt – now 10¢/kg cwt higher than their Victorian counterparts, which averaged 531¢/kg cwt. Trade weight lambs sold at SA saleyards during the first month of 2015 averaged 503¢/kg cwt, up 109¢/kg cwt year-on-year, MLA said.
NSW trade lamb prices fall 52c/kg since January
Three months into 2015, trade lamb prices in NSW have fallen considerably since the beginning of the year. Up to late March, trade lambs in NSW have declined 52¢kg cwt since January and 51¢/kg cwt on year-ago levels, to 488¢/kg cwt.
Victorian lamb saleyard prices have declined 22¢/kg cwt since January and 20¢ year-on-year, to 509¢/kg cwt, but this still has meant a 21¢/kg cwt advantage over NSW rates, MLA said.
“In contrast, SA trade lamb prices have eased only 1¢/kg cwt since January and have lifted 28¢/kg cwt on the corresponding month last year, averaging 502¢/kg cwt so far in March.”
Heavy lamb rates kicked off strongly in NSW
MLA said heavy weight lambs in NSW also kicked off 2015 on a stronger note than the previous year (up 119¢), averaging 546¢/kg cwt in January. Although, this solid lead has deteriorated through to March, with the state average now 48¢ lower than January levels and 59¢ lower than last year, at 497¢/kg cwt. It was a similar trend for Victoria and SA in January, as heavy lamb prices in both states averaged just over 100¢/kg cwt dearer year-on-year, but have since followed a downward trajectory.
But MLA said heavy lambs in Victoria have slipped 31¢ since January and 43¢ on the same time last year, averaging 501¢/kg cwt in March to date. Across SA saleyards, heavy weight lambs have averaged 489¢/kg cwt in March – down 37¢ since January and 25¢ year-on-year.
Mutton prices almost double 2014 rates
In January, mutton saleyard prices had almost doubled year-ago levels across NSW, Victoria and SA, averaging 328¢, 347¢ and 338¢/kg cwt, respectively, and, come March, all three states have maintained higher prices than year-ago levels, MLA said. Interestingly, mutton saleyard prices in NSW have risen 6¢ since January, averaging 334¢/kg cwt in March so far, while the equivalent categories in SA and Victoria have declined 29¢ and 13¢, respectively, averaging 318¢ and 326¢/kg cwt.
Source: Meat and Livestock Australia